The petition, which was launched after families were asked to remove flowers and tributes from gravesides, will be discussed by North Devon Council’s overview and scrutiny committee next week.

North Devon Council (NDC) will be considering a petition over graveside tributes next week as part of a review.

The council's overview and scrutiny committee will meet on Thursday September 15 to discuss issues at cemeteries in Bear Street, Barnstaple and Marlborough Road, Ilfracombe.

The existing policy is due for review, and while the council says no significant changes are recommended, the policy of requesting the removal of unauthorised tributes will be discussed.

A petition with nearly 500 signatures on it was brought to the council in July, after families were asked to remove flowers and tributes from gravesides.

NDC's executive member responsible for cemeteries, councillor Dick Jones, said: "We have a long-standing policy in place to ensure our cemeteries are maintained and managed in line with national regulations, and to make sure they are dignified, safe and peaceful places for everyone.

"During next week's meeting, the committee will be looking closely at the policy and some of our management issues, before they are brought before the council's executive for a decision next month.

"This includes a petition that was sent to the council and regarding unauthourised memorials at Bear Street.

"We know this is an emotive and sensitive subject and we will fully consider all the information we are presented with before it is put forward to the Executive to make a decision."

The council will also look at the policy for management of unsafe headstones, as well as how space in the cemeteries can be managed.

A final decision is expected to be made at an NDC executive meeting on Monday October 3.